London, Nov 27

A

n Indian-origin store owner has been hit with a community order after food contaminated with rat droppings and poison was found at his store in UK's Birmingham city last year.

Avtar Singh, 39, was sentenced to a 12-month community order with a requirement to complete 120 hours of unpaid work after he admitted to seven hygiene offences, BirminghamLive news website reported.

The Birmingham Magistrates' Court also ordered him pay 1,430 pounds in costs and a 114 pound victim surcharge.

Singh's offences date back to October 25 last year when city council officers discovered a number of issues at Singh's Diamond Drinks on Soho Road.

One of the charges stated there was 'rat activity in the premises' and another was concerned with "gaps in the structure that could permit the ingress of rats".

A further charge said that Singh "...failed to ensure that food was protected against any contamination likely to render the food unfit for human consumption, injurious to health, or contaminated in such a way that it would be unreasonable to expect it to be consumed in that state in that, packets of food were gnawed and contaminated by rat urine and rat kill cake".

The city council inspectors described the shop as 'dirty and poorly maintained' with lack of hand washing materials.

Further counts related to the failure to clean equipment which came into contact with food and the fact waste was stored inside an unlidded bin.

The shop, which is now under new ownership, has been revisited since the problems were discovered.

It was given a 1 out of 5 Food Standards Agency (FSA) rating, calling for 'major improvements'.

Indian-origin store owner hit with community order for hygiene offences in UK

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